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In the past decades, historical scholarship on prostitution has become a burgeoning field of research. Even though prostitution and those involved in this practice are often considered as marginal to broader and seemingly bigger historical developments, the historical study of prostitution offers many insights into past societies. The aim of the special issue is to shift prostitution into the very centre of European history and to question, deconstruct and re-adjust distinctions between western, eastern, northern and southern European historical experiences. The broad geographical focus encourages comparative perspectives including the international dimension of the politics of prostitution. The authors of the articles approach “prostitution” from a variety of perspectives and focus both on state actors and policies, as well as those involved in commercial sex.  

During the roundtable, we will address the current state of the historiography of prostitution as it begins to move beyond focusing on state regulation, which the dominant approach to prostitution implemented by European governments in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The case studies we will discuss include the interwar Sweden, occupied Czechoslovakia during the Holocaust, the international dimension of the United Nations, the post-Stalin Soviet Union, and, finally, the history of transgender Greek migrant sex workers who worked in West Berlin in the 1970s and 1980s.

You can find the Special Issue (European Review of History) here: 

All welcome- this seminar is free to attend, but advance registration is required.